Design systems have sure generated a lot of noise, while some consider it a great add on, some also assume it will lead to job loss. What really is a design system and why do we need them?
Let’s imagine that your brand has designed and produced a product for a very long period. In this duration of production over the years, it is likely that many parts of manufacturing processes have some inconsistencies, errors, repetitions. A fine example of this is when HubSpot shared that when they examined each component they had, their finding told them that a shade of grey had over 100+ hues in it while used across their systems – reflecting inconsistencies in their interface.
When this happens, it reflects a disconnect in user experience too and design systems aim to solve exactly this problem by offering brands a more structured and orderly fashion way to build solutions.
Design systems is a core collection of standards to follow, rules and guidelines that govern the design of products, websites and applications – all aimed to enhance the user experience. When a design system is in place, there is a standardized approach to designing a service/ product – an approach that ensures that all products produced are consistent and user-friendly.
Diving into what makes the use of ensign systems essential for brands and how they are supporting efficiency for brands:
Consistent visual language
Design systems are key to help brands in establishing a consistent visual language across all their products/ services. This ensures that consumers recognize a consistent brand value that is led by the design language, offering brands a strong recall value and loyal consumer base. It also helps the brands to not start from scratch every single time a new product is developed, helping to save efforts and reduces repetition plus errors.
Also read: The growing opportunities in motion design
Aiding in reusability
Design systems enable the designers to make the best possible use of existing components – reusing them across multiple services. Saving time, effort and resources while also maintaining brand visual language consistency.
An example of this is when a button component can be reused across multiple pages thus eliminating the need to create a new button for each page.
When design systems are in place, time and effort that goes into designing to executing a design on the application is saved. How? Because now there are pre-designed and pre-approved components in place that aid the designers to focus core elements of design on simple processes. One, it helps to design a product faster and two, it increases the designers efficiency towards critical tasks.
Design today has become a collective process – there are designers, developers, researchers and other stakeholders involved. Design systems help to offer them a common guideline in working towards a project that everyone follows – ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
In this context design systems help to save time, efforts and offer a better platform for communication between teams- reducing repetitive tasks and error percentage.
Scale a product/ service
As a brand grows into new markets, a design system is essential to help the brand be able to scale without compromising on quality or consistency. They are agile and adaptive systems that work on accommodating the new products and services into the system to offer the brand visual consistency throughout.
The system prioritizes UX – that itself reflects that the consumer is put first. It ensures that products are easy to navigate around, use and intuitive. Design systems offer a series of pre-designed and pre-approved components for designers to work with so their core focus can be on user-friendly and accessible new designs. Leading to overall increasing the user experience and increase in their loyalty towards the brand.
If your aim as a brand is to-
-Optimize internal communication
-Have an efficient product management system
-Ensure your designers work on core design solutions with efficient outputs, and
-Seek for less version based control over the applications, page or website
Then design systems are your go to solution that will offer you multiple solutions to enhance UX and customer satisfaction.
What many brands do get wrong is that once a design system is in place, nothing else is required. Do note that design systems are not a one-time only job, this assumption is merely an assumption – with no truth. They are made to evolve as per the technological innovations and changes in design trends. Brands do need an active team to work on design systems that are agile, modular and compatible to support different processes, technologies and methodologies over a period of time.
Not only design systems ease up the speed up the design process – but they are also all the gatekeepers of consistency design language and offer the design team a faster and more productive way of communication and design building. They simply are a game-changer in the world of digital design.
When brands do invest in building design systems, they reap the benefits of an increased efficiency across their team and computer assets functioning, an overall increase and improved internal team communication along with better customer feedback and satisfaction.